Today we wish to talk about trail running, a “new” running style that has become very popular in the past few years and that draws in an increasing number of enthusiasts, longing to run outdoors surrounded by nature.
WHAT IT IS ABOUT
The meaning of "trail running" in Italian is more or less "running along trails". Therefore, it is about running on unpaved roads or, in fact, along trails, immersed in nature.
It is a different type of running respect to traditional jogging on roads because, first of all, the terrain is uneven thus it is necessary to pay a lot of attention to where one sets foot. Therefore, running is less smooth and very often there are terrain height differences to face, both upward and downward.
In both cases, one needs to be in good physical shape and trained as well as careful since the effort is definitely greater and so is the energy requirement. Not only when climbing a hill or a mountain but also when descending along irregular slopes, paying attention not to slip, thus having to keep the muscle constantly tense. In short, specific training is required.
DIFFERENCE WITH STANDARD RUNNING
As specified above, the main difference is the one originating from the terrain, which makes jogging on roads faster and smoother while the one on trails more challenging and requiring greater balance. Trail running training may include also jogging on roads to gain speed and rhythm but it must also include in the training schedule also specific trail running exercises with some slopes.
In fact, trail running energy consumption includes ups and downs, with rather quiet jogging on flat terrain alternated to stretches where upwards or downward slopes must be faced, requiring a lot of energy.
There is another difference between the two disciplines that is still linked to the terrain: jogging on road means running on asphalt thus on hard surfaces that have a significant impact on our joints while this issue with trail running is definitely less significant since the terrain surface is varied (grass, soil) and softer.
Those who practice trail running must have available the specific equipment to face the challenge at its best:
- trail running shoes, reinforced and with a sturdier sole that allows protecting the foot from uneven terrain;
- trail running hiking sticks that help when facing upward sloes since they offer two support points that ensure greater balance, taking on some of the effort that, otherwise, would affect the joints in full;
- trail running backpack: often trail running competitions are very long, with different time requirements respect to standard running competitions. Moreover, they can take place in the mountains, where the climate can change in a few hours. This is why a good backpack is fundamental so as to have available adequate apparel to change into if needed and to bring supplements that can offer support during the activity.
Running across the woods is certainly very nice but it may lead to a few inconveniences. In fact, we are not the only ones on the trails around us but often there are lots of insects, bees and even ticks. Thus, it is important to wear the right apparel and pay attention not to be unpleasantly surprised.
Since trail running is all about endurance, an effort over time, it is fundamental to integrate the sugars consumed during the physical activity and that represent our main energy source.
The other aspect to keep into account is the transportation, which must be practical for those who participate in the running activity.
The products that we recommend, therefore, are liquid formula products concentrated carbs and energy bars.